Opinion: Five reasons why people hate E3 (and why they should shut up)

E3 has a lot of haters out there...


With this year's E3 fresh in our memories, thousands of journalists are heading back home from Los Angeles, having gotten their fill of hundreds of games. It's really something special, with the opportunity to rub elbows with developers, chat with fellow media folks and just plain have a good time. Or, in the case of some spoil sports, not.

To some people, E3 is more like a chore than a week of kick-ass fun. Of course, why these people end up with passes instead of giving them to more enthusiastic parties is beyond us, but they live to complain about the toils of the event, or how worn out they'll be afterwards, instead of, you know, enjoying it.

Below, we've listed the five common complaints that tie in with the event, along with counter-arguments that explain why these folks shouldn't be issuing them in the first place. Sure, E3 is a marathon of sorts. But it's well worth running with, and we've got your counterpoints, haters!

Some games take forever to get to play

The complaint: The most popular games at E3 aren't always accessible. Sure, some companies are smart and place several kiosks in their booth for people to try out, but, for some key titles, people may have to wait a few hours to get around to playing it or seeing it in a behind-closed-doors presentation. As a result, they feel they waste precious time that could've been spent elsewhere, and can't help but complain every minute that they're standing.

Why it's invalid: Two things. First of all, you don't have to stand in line for said title. Sure, the line for Sony's The Order: 1866 may be the hottest thing going, but Microsoft has dozens of other games worth checking out. We got into Forza Horizon 5 and Sunset Overdrive in a matter of minutes. MINUTES.

Secondly, you could be doing plenty of stuff while standing in line. Talking to folks about the game you're going to play. Looking around and getting pictures of what's happening. Trying to enjoy yourself. You don't have to wait, but if you prefer to, make the most of it. Standing around and complaining will only worsen the mood… and perhaps make you feel even more let down when you finally get to play whatever you were standing in line for. At the very least, you can StreetPass with your 3DS, right?

Not getting into the hottest parties

The complaint: Every year, dozens of companies hold events where people come to hang out with each other, indulge in free alcohol, and celebrate the pure manic joy of E3. However, on some occasions, people can get shut out, mainly because an event reaches capacity (these clubs can't hold as many people as the convention center, after all) or because they didn't reserve. As a result, they'll go complaining about how this company hates them, or how E3 is ruined because they couldn't go into the hottest place in town.

Why it's invalid: Number one, if you didn't make a reservation in a timely fashion, it's your own fault. What did you expect with these parties, no one to show up? Furthermore, the city of Los Angeles is a party in itself. For every exclusive shindig that's going on, you can stop into a bar and socialize with other folks, even if that means (gasp!) paying for drinks. There are plenty of spots to meet, socialize, and still have fun. If that one party isn't getting it done for you, there's plenty else going on. It is L.A., after all. At the very least, Angel Brewing and 82 Arcade are worth stopping by. Those were "hot spots" for me personally, and a great place to catch up with folks.

You get sick at conventions

The complaint: Every year, hundreds of people complain about events because they catch the "nerd flu," getting sick because they roamed into the wrong place or brushed closely with someone who was less than 100 percent. That's a risk that comes from a lot of events, but with E3, it seems more possible, mainly because of the bigger count of attendees.

Why it's invalid: This happens at nearly every convention anyway, so it helps to prepare for said event with sanitation, or some form of protection from germs. There's a reason developers have hand sanitizer dispensers around, or prefer fist bumps to coming in for a hug on certain occasions. You can probably pick up a compact bottle for a buck and be better off for it, rather than complaining about your forthcoming head cold. Soldier on. We did.

Your favorite game wasn't playable

The complaint: A lot of games were present and accounted for at E3, but several titles were demonstrations only. Last year's Super Smash Bros. comes to mind, for example. As a result, you feel that your show is ruined because "I want to play Mortal Kombat X NOWWWW" or something along those lines. Furthermore, there may be times that, again, you can't make an appointment to see that special game, and, as a result, you're left watching a video instead.

Why it's invalid: E3 doesn't revolve around one game, you know. In fact, there are hundreds. Thousands. So you can't play Smash Bros. So what? Go off and play some Forza Horizon 2 or something. You can walk up and play a variety of stuff at other booths and still enjoy yourself, or, hey, maybe even discover something that you weren't planning on seeing and come away with a new favorite. E3 is only ruined if you make yourself feel that it's ruined. Me? I always try to take the time to floor roam and see what good stuff I might've missed otherwise. And it always, always pays off. Period.

On top of that, sometimes videos are exclusive to the show, rather than making their way to the Internet. In that aspect, attendees should consider themselves lucky that they get to see anything compared to the hundreds of thousands of gamers who were all, "So, what was it like?"

You didn't get the swag you wanted

The complaint: Some folks live for an event like E3 because it allows them to get as much swag (or "stuff we all get") as they can fit into their bags. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, you name it, they go after it. Some people even go as far as selling it on eBay, especially if it's something like a collectible faceplate or something along those lines. But, on occasion, you'll see someone being upset because they missed out on that special Pokémon character, or didn't make it to a booth in time to enter a contest for some cool thing. "They never give you a chaaaaaance!" scream these poor folks, missing out on hot items like TItanfall burn cards and special Skylanders Life Traps (which, yes, are awesome).

Why it's invalid: If you're coming to E3 just to collect free stuff, reexamine your priorities. E3 is about the experience. The people you meet, the awesome games you get to see, the friends you'll make and the good times in general. If you get free stuff on top, consider that a bonus and not the prize of the show. Enjoy THAT, and not the special fake Harvest Moon jewelry you picked up.

Some people, like many of our readers, will never get a chance to attend E3. So, at the end of the day, if you've gotten to go at all, you should consider yourself very lucky.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 16, 2014 8:45 AM

    Robert Workman posted a new article, Opinion: Five reasons why people hate E3 (and why they should shut up).

    E3 has a lot of haters out there...

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 9:19 AM

      All of those complaints are misguided anyways. E3 is about developers and publishers working to get the media (remember, E3 is not supposed to be open to the general public) excited about the gaming industry, the looming holiday season's releases, and title still on the horizon. The complains here are mostly personal ones that people getting caught in a pity party about.

      Yes, I have been to E3 and know what it's like. Yes, I had to wait in a few long lines even foregoing lunch to stay line on some hot title that I can't even remember what it was now (been a few years). Yes, I too missed out on some of the cool swag. But, like the article says, it's supposed to be more than just what you as an individual can get out of it.

      I'd love to hear what big box retailers get out of E3. This is also who's the real target audience. It's to start the early selling cycle to Best Buy, Game Stop, etc. to sell their game into those stores as much as possible.

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      June 16, 2014 9:35 AM

      I look forward to E3 every year.

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      June 16, 2014 9:37 AM

      If I'm not mistaken, E3 was originally designed to be a relation builder between publisher and brick and mortar retailers.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 10:43 AM

        You would be correct, sir.

        • reply
          June 16, 2014 12:02 PM

          Going off of that, I would argue that most of these complaints are more about entitlement than anything. Technically Shacknews doesn't even belong there.

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            June 16, 2014 12:15 PM

            Since Shack began doing it's own reporting, rather than just reposting stories from other media outlets, I believe that qualifies Shack to send a few bodies to cover the event. Shack gets invited to speak with devs and even manages to pull a response or two from publishers. Not a ton, but more than if this was just someone's personal blog.

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              June 16, 2014 12:46 PM

              This is going off of strictly speaking that he show is designed around retailer and investor relations.

          • reply
            June 16, 2014 12:16 PM

            Technically, Shacknews does belong there. Shacknews applied and received media credentials to cover the show as a media outlet.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 4:22 PM

        It was a show for buyers to see products to be released so they knew what to order.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 9:40 AM

      Lack of booth babes.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 9:58 AM

      those actually aren't any of the reasons why I dislike E3 though, nor why any of the reasons why the people I respect say they dislike it. I/They dislike it because it's a massive corporate event where people that actually play video games are kind of an afterthought. When the guy in the suit on stage pays lip service to "gamers," he is trying to talk to investors and retailers about how much he owns you, and how much this or that game reveal should make their stock price go up.

      if none of that bothers you, then alright, but I think it actually would or should bother a lot of people who complain incessantly about anti-consumer practices and shit in the industry.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 10:40 AM

        No shit, corporations want to make money, they invest tens of millions of dollars into a product, and as such, they want to minimize risk and maximize potential product. I see nothing wrong with this.
        Gamers do have a certain amount of attention granted to them, as E3 is essentially a big marketing campaign, if you find yourself influenced too much by advertisements and people who exaggerate marketing claims without doing your own research into a $60.00 product, that's on you. There is nothing wrong with advertisement and self endorsement, unless false claims are being made. Hell, this might well be the best look the public has ever had into the inner workings of a multi billion dollar industry, that's a lot more transparent than most others.

        tl;dr wahh! cry yourself a river, there's nothing wrong with businesses trying to make money.

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          June 16, 2014 11:56 AM

          i like how "corporations like to make money" is apparently an acceptable excuse for the existence of every foul/unpleasant thing on this planet.

          (also E3 conferences have been well-documented to be full of false claims)

        • reply
          June 16, 2014 12:03 PM

          also it actually ISN'T a real great way to minimize risk or act as a big marketing campaign. it's a terrible waste of resources for every corporation that involves itself in it, and its value is questionable. E3 has been in its "cargo cult" phase for a while now.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 10:43 AM

        Then go to PAX. E3 isn't some celebration of nerd culture, it's a marketing event and always has been. It's not comiccon.

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          June 16, 2014 11:58 AM

          I never said it was or that I had that expectation (though a lot of other gamers do, and that is sad).

        • reply
          June 16, 2014 12:01 PM

          also realistically PAX is as much of a corporate event as E3. at least, though, it's a consumer-facing one, and not the bizarre and currently vestigal media spectacle that arose out of an expo meant to cater to software retailers that E3 is.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 12:52 PM

        E3 is an industry event. It's not for the consumer directly.

        The parties, the lines, the swag... it's all bullshit.

        • reply
          June 16, 2014 5:24 PM

          Which is why 24 hour live streams and digital ticket sales are sending a pretty mixed message.

          • reply
            June 16, 2014 6:04 PM

            Eh. WWDC is a dev conference. They still stream it. But yes, agree. Also a lot of journalists are a blurry line between fan and more than fan.

            • reply
              June 16, 2014 8:43 PM

              WWDC has neither of those? They stream Apple's keynote, but I guess that approaches the line of marketing / PR, though I still think it's mainly addressed to developers who can't attend. Most of Apple's strictly PR events aren't streamed so that news outlets can get the footage for the evening news.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 11:18 AM

      Many developers E3 because they have to hit the brakes and shift development to an E3 demonstration, which takes time and resources away from FINISHING the product.

      As a former member of the games press, I enjoyed touring E3, but I hated trying to cover it. Wake up bright and early, spend 10-12 hours on the show floor and attending behind-closed-doors meaning, return to the hotel utterly exhausted and churn out dozens of poorly written previews that you have no time to polish because you have to grind out more previews.

      Just to be clear, I like E3. But I do think both the press and developers have valid complaints about the show. I also think we're nearing a point where lavish trade shows aren't relevant. Nintendo has the right idea: deliver semi-regular updates to your fans, which enables Nintendo to save money and, more importantly, create its own news cycles rather than compete with dozens of other games.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 11:29 AM

      Five (5!) reasons why you WON'T!!! believe this UNBELIEVABLE list that will SHOCK you and 9 out of 10 people DON'T!!! believe in this ONE WEIRD TRICK about hating E3!!!!!


    • reply
      June 16, 2014 11:34 AM

      I go just so i can dominate my friend that also goes every year.

      Last year GT5 hat. This year Smash brothers medal.

      My favorite is being able to talk to people i normally wouldn't have access to. So I can ask questions no one dares to ask.

      Like the poor Forza 5 dev at the polk audio booth.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 11:52 AM


    • reply
      June 16, 2014 12:18 PM

      #6 - No HL3

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 12:53 PM

      this is a really dumb article that seems to have sprung up out of the writers sperg-center, which is apparently located right under the douchial-cortex.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 1:19 PM

      not sure what the point of this article was

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 1:22 PM


    • reply
      June 16, 2014 1:23 PM

      This Buzzfeed style of article really has no place on the internet.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 1:42 PM

      Shacknews says: Buck up. It's probably your fault. Bring some hand sanitizer.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 3:42 PM

      Opinion: Five reasons why people love these kind of articles (and why they are retarded)

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 3:59 PM

      I went there last year as a "consultant" to a publisher (printer) who did the printing of manuals, inserts, covers, posters, etc for various game companies. My friend who was the rep for the publisher asked me about who was who and all that kind of stuff. But we obviously went to check out the games and we're hungover most of the time.

      It was quite the experience and I would love to do it again.

      Next on the list is Shot Show (E3 with guns) which I need to hit up some contacts to get passes for and time off.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 4:03 PM

        Hmm, meant to reply to post about how E3 was a industry trade event more so than for public consumption.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 4:20 PM

      I'm not sure what the point of this article is, but I do know that it probably shouldn't have been published.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 4:23 PM

      Shitty title dude. Up to the brackets you were doing okay. It's written like a fanboy's first E3.

    • reply
      June 16, 2014 5:23 PM

      I'm going to try to be constructive and not discuss the linkbait format. After reading this, I'm not really sure who this article is for. It doesn't seem like the people who attend E3 as part of the industry are the people who would read this. So, it comes off as frustrated venting into the void, which is usually the territory of Chatty threads, not front page articles. It also seems kind of presumptuous to assume that the things that are invalid to you aren't valid for other people.

      • reply
        June 16, 2014 6:18 PM

        "frustrated venting into the void" is the new name of my next metal band. thanks!

    • reply
      June 17, 2014 10:12 PM

      Wow...slow news week, apparently. Is Shacknews devolving into list articles now?

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